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Discovery Magazine 10/1/2004

“I Saw Him with My Own Two Eyes”

In a court of law, an eyewitness provides very strong evidence. If two or three eyewitnesses testify that they saw the same person steal a car, that person is often convicted. If the witnesses are honest and respectable, and if there are several of them, then their testimony is quite powerful.

In the church at Corinth, some people doubted that Jesus had really risen from the grave. They were claiming that the dead do not rise. In response to those people, Paul said that Jesus was seen by Peter, by the apostles, by over five hundred other Christians, and by Paul. Paul went on to say that many of those five hundred Christianswere still alive. By saying this, Paul was letting those who doubted the resurrection know that they could ask the people who had seen the risen Jesus. To prove the resurrection, Paul was listing hundreds of eyewitnesses as evidence.

When we look into the books of the New Testament, we find that Jesus did make several appearances after He rose from the dead. He showed himself to Mary Magdalene in the garden, and then He showed himself to two other disciples on the road to Emmaus. After that, He showed himself to the apostles (Mark 16:14). One of the apostles—Thomas—was not with the others when Jesus appeared to them. When they told him about Jesus appearing to them, he did not believe. That is why he is often called “doubting Thomas.” In fact, he said that he would not believe that Jesus had risen unless he could touch Jesus. Several days later, Jesus appeared to the apostles again, and this time Thomas was there. Jesus told Thomas to touch His hands that had nail holes in them, and touch His side that had been pierced. When Thomas saw Jesus, he believed, andsaid to Him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:24-29). A longtime after this, Jesus appeared to Saul (later called Paul) while he was on his way to Damascus.

One reason Jesus appeared to so many people was so that there would be many eyewitnesses to His resurrection.
The apostle Peter assured the Christians that they did not follow made-up fairy-tale stories about Jesus. Instead, Peter said that he and others “were eyewitnesses of His majesty”
(2 Peter 1:16). Jesus was a real person Who cameback from the dead and showed Himself to many people. His resurrection is a fact based on real evidence. We should thank God that Jesus defeated death so that we can one day live with Him in heaven if we are faithful to Him.

Copyright © 2004 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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